Ontario Takes Steps to Make Government Services More Convenient, Reliable and Accessible

New fund will help the province better serve people and businesses

November 12, 2020

KITCHENER-WATERLOO — The Ontario government is investing $500 million over four years to make public sector services more customer-focused, and more efficient and cost effective. The funding is flowing through the Ontario Onwards Acceleration Fund to support modernization projects such as making government services more digitally accessible, reducing red tape and simplifying policies, and improving government purchasing to save both time and money. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.

Details were announced today by Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for Digital and Data Transformation, Amy Fee, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, and Michael Harris, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.

“The world has changed, and government must change with it. We have a responsibility to apply the lessons learned from COVID-19 to transform government and better serve the people and businesses of this province,” said Minister Bethlenfalvy. “The Ontario Onwards Acceleration Fund is a vital step in achieving our vision of making Ontario the most digitally advanced jurisdiction in the world as we invest in projects that will deliver measurable, quantifiable and evidence-based results.”      

The new Ontario Onwards Acceleration Fund will help with the implementation of projects that emphasize digital-first and lean methods to ensure efficient and effective delivery, while also providing seed funding to set up pilot projects that test-drive new initiatives that show promise. In some cases this could include collaboration with the private sector.

Projects eligible for funding must have:

  • A strong return on investment and deliver immediate benefits to the people and businesses of Ontario
  • Focus on the outcomes and needs of Ontarians
  • Clear governance to ensure accountability and support the tracking and reporting of results

The Ontario Onwards Action Plan is a roadmap to make public sector services more customer-focused and digital- and data-driven, while increasing the speed of government operations and decision-making. Projects in the Action Plan fall into four categories:

  • Making government services more digitally accessible
  • Reducing red tape and simplifying policies
  • Improving government purchasing
  • Creating more responsive and flexible public services

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s Action Plan, Protect, Support, Recover sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make available the necessary health resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.
  • On October 19, 2020, the Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government, was released. The Action Plan includes more than 30 projects that will change the way people and businesses interact with government.
  • The Ontario Onwards Acceleration Fund will provide $500 million over four years to accelerate the Action Plan’s priority projects, including approximately $60 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year. Specific projects will be chosen by the Future State Modernization Committee and approved by the Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet.